Temporary field hospital in West Miami-Dade to serve thousands of patients

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WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A temporary field hospital at the site of the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition at Tamiami Park will be able to accommodate thousands of coronavirus patients should the need for more beds arises.

During a Tuesday video conference, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the site is ready to go, but there is no need to bring patients to the site and hopes it will stay that way.

“Miami-Dade County is moving rapidly ahead in our fight against the coronavirus,” Gimenez said. “We have plenty of beds available, but if we do get jammed up, we have this 250-bed field hospital ready for patients. Right now, it’s up, it’s running, it’s ready to go. Everything is set.”

The facility will be used for overflow from regular hospitals, and it will have 250 beds to start. Another field hospital can be set up in 72 hours should more beds be needed, and the maximum capacity at the site is 2,000 beds, officials said.

The site would be typically set up for the Youth Fair, but like all other South Florida gatherings, it was cancelled amid coronavirus concerns, clearing the way for the field hospital.

Gimenez toured the temporary hospital on Tuesday and shared cellphone videos and photos inside the facility. His photos showed the facility was full of beds and other equipment.

Eddie Cora, the fair’s president, said on March 23 that the site is ideal for a pop-up hospital.

“All of the utilities are here underground, ready for it to be used not only for the fair, but for emergency purposes whenever the community needs it,” Cora said.

Officials said the field hospital will treat patients recovering from the virus who still need to be monitored but do not need critical care.

For now, Gimenez reiterated that there is no shortage of hospital beds in the county.

“We hope never to get there, and the projections that I’ve seen, I don’t think we are going to get there,” Gimenez said. “Like I said, we have about 5,000 bed capacity right now of vacant beds in Miami-Dade County in the hospitals we have.”

Gimenez added that the county has around 1,000 ventilators that are ready to be used, and they have ordered 300 more units.

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